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Tidal change for Boris Johnson's estuary airport scheme?

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

By political editor Paul Francis

Boris Johnson has insisted he has no aspiration to build an airport in the Thames Estuary – just days after a report he had commissioned triggered widespread condemnation about the plan.

The Mayor was quizzed about his plans for a £40billion floating airport off the north Kent coast by members of the London Assembly’s transport committee.

He made his surprising comment when tackled about why the airport plan was not included in his transport strategy for the capital.

In response to a series of questions about his plans, he said he was anxious to “clear up” the situation, saying:

"I do not have an aspiration to construct this airport. What is right is to look in a progressive way at aviation capacity around London. It is very, very important...people would expect us to bring to the table all sorts of solutions."

Explaining why the airport plan was omitted from his strategy document, he said: “There is no specific mention of the Estuary Airport proposal simply because it is not at a stage to warrant inclusion. It was my view that it is at too early a stage of development to be included.”

His remarks have been interpreted by some as a signal that the Mayor has been taken aback by the widespread hostility to his plans and growing suggestions that the Conservative leadership is anxious for the idea to be dropped.

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